-- 30 October 2005 --

2005 Index


DATE: 30 October 2005
The Gothic Theatre
Denver, CO, USA





Submitted by Roger Stokes and Michael Grimm, who contributed the setlist scan and comments:

Though the weather outside was cold, rainy and dreary, the mood inside was festive. A general mood of anticipation was growing as Bruce took the stage. There were several "Welcomes" from the crowd, to which Bruce graciously responded that he was happy to be here.

While waiting for the show to start, I noted that there were no electric guitars on stage. After seeing Bruce two years ago, during the You've Never Seen Everything tour, I was a bit surprised that this show would be totally acoustic. Before he came on stage, I had mixed feelings about an acoustic show, but as the night progressed, I was very pleased with the experience.

Having followed Bruce’s career for several years (before the concert I had eight of his albums, but now I have twelve), I felt I had a pretty good handle on most of his songs. However, he opened this concert with two songs that I had never heard before (Rouler Sa Bosse, Going To The Country). There were a few people in the crowd that recognized the songs (by clapping when they realized which songs they were), but most of us sat in pleasant silence. I have to admit, that for the rest of the show, I only recognized about half of the songs. He did, however, play many of the fan favorites, that we were able to sing along with.

This is only the second of Bruce's concerts that I've attended, so I don’t have many experiences that I can compare this one to. It’s difficult for me to choose which concert I enjoyed the most. Where the last concert was rowdy and fun — like drinking Margaritas on a Friday night; this year's was soft and pleasant — like sipping fine wine on a Sunday evening.

During the intermission, I asked the sound man if I could have the setlist, when the concert was over; I told him I was planning to write up a short review of the concert for this website. He said I could have it, as long as I mentioned that it "sounded good". Well, it was mixed very well. I was able to understand the lyrics on all the songs — even the ones I had never heard before. Unfortunately, the setlist didn’t have the encore songs, and I have since forgotten what they were [fortunately, Roger was able to supply these]. I must be getting old.

I thoroughly enjoyed the selection of songs that Bruce played. I'd estimate that almost a third of them were off the Speechless CD. (Bruce did mention that he was very proud of himself to have come up with that catchy name for an instrumental CD.) As I mentioned before, I was a bit apprehensive about a totally acoustic concert, but after hearing some of my favourites played in this format, I was NOT disappointed. Pacing The Cage, Last Night Of The World, and After The Rain were mesmerising. If the next location on the tour (Tucson, AZ) wasn't more than twelve hours away, I'd be tempted to travel there, just to hear these songs again.

Larry McDowell contributed the photos and also adds:

Gothic TheaterBruce Cockburn's performance lived up to the expectations brought forth by the initial reviews and setlists. On a cold and rainy October night in Colorado, Bruce did not disappoint me. I waited over an hour in that rain to get the best seats I have ever had for one of his concerts.

Starting off with Rouler Sa Bosse, Bruce was awesome with both playing and scatting the melody over the top. After that, he was talking to the audience and thanking us for coming and, while strumming a G chord, Bruce said that you "can’t get any older than this song", and he began to play Going To The Country. Played with what seemed like no effort at all, Bruce truly showed off his picking mastery during that performance. Four songs in, what I've been waiting for the last 2+ years had finally come. Pacing The Cage started and my night was already made. It was beautifully done and I was literally overcome. If I had a way with words like Bruce, I would be able to write how his performance of that song moved me.

Bruce got some audience participation for Wondering Where The Lions Are. The crowd sang backup for this and didn't sound too bad. Bruce had to egg us on a bit to get us going but it didn’t take much. He did a great version of If A Tree Falls and ended the first set with Elegy.

The second set started just as strongly with Water Into Wine and All The Ways I Want You. He then picked up that new 12-string and at first I thought he was going to play Trickle Down. I heard him play a great version of that using a 12-string on NPR one evening, but Put It In Your Heart was on the list. Following up was This Is Baghdad. Once again, Bruce can capture a moment in time with his writing and during that particular song many of the people around me were sitting jaw dropped, including myself.

GuitarsSometime during the second set, we started hearing the traditional banter between Bruce and the audience. One person asked for Lord Of The Starfields, and Bruce chuckled and said that it had been a long time since he'd played that. Another yelled out a request for Messenger Wind, and soon after we heard a request for another live album. Bruce's response was to look up briefly and with a smirk, he said "first things first". One thing that we did notice is that there were microphones pointed out to the audience and that Bruce looked like he was plugged into two different inputs. All of this seemed to me that the sound man wanted good separation to be able to mix for later. Perhaps this might be the live recording? One could only hope.

Bruce ended the second set with Messenger Wind, most likely making the evening for the audience member who requested it earlier. He took a bow and went off.

The encore was perfection. If I Had A Rocket Launcher was phenomenal, and once again jaws had to be picked up off the floor. I have always preferred his acoustic versions of that song. It brings out the images and the passion of that song so well. Silver Wheels was strong and was a great choice to end a perfect evening. We yelled for more but to no avail. Bruce and a great show were done. Overall, the Gothic Theatre was perfect for this show. An intimate setting to see a true master show us his craft. Bruce was great, his performance was sharp and the song selection was perfect. Just like always, he leaves you wanting more.



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2005 Index

This page is part of The Cockburn Project, a unique website that exists to document the work of Canadian singer-songwriter and musician Bruce Cockburn. The Project archives self-commentary by Cockburn on his songs and music, and supplements this core part of the website with news, tour dates, and other current information.